Paper trails | FIFA loot vanishes in Third World mire

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Copenhagen | Jens Sejer Andersen, director of Play the Game, pens an eloquent letter to FIFA after the governing body’s reply to queries about FIFA’s relationship with Burma. Andersen is pleased that Sepp Blatter had intervened in the case of arrested journalist Zaw Thet Htwe (see Nov 7), but argues for more transparency from FIFA and more accountability among its members:

With regards to our question about how GOAL-funds were used in Myanmar, we are surprised that FIFA puts its trust into a financial report from a local auditing company in a state where military dictators influence football as well as financial affairs and where critical activities could have fatal consequences for all citizens—including auditors.

Journalist Andrew Jennings asks FIFA for better use of its website.

Why shouldn’t they put the minutes of executive meetings on their website? Why not add an audio link. Let’s hear them working, as they claim, for the Good of the Game.

Finally, as part of FIFA-bashing night, Antiguan journalist Ian “Magic” Hughes details the cozy dealings among Blatter, CONCACAF chief Jack Warner and Antiguan Paul Greene. Hughes and others in the East West Indies country had asked for an audit trail following a $400,000 FIFA grant for construction of an Antiguan football headquarters that apparently was never built.

About the Author

John Turnbull founded The Global Game in 2003. He was lead editor for The Global Game: Writers on Soccer (University of Nebraska Press, 2008) and has also written on soccer for Afriche e Orienti (Bologna, Italy), the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the New York Times Goal blog, Soccer and Society, So Foot (Paris) and When Saturday Comes. His essay "Alone in the Woods: The Literary Landscape of Soccer's 'Last Defender' " in World Literature Today was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Also for World Literature Today he edited a special section on women's soccer, "World Cup/World Lit 2011," before the Women's World Cup in Germany. The section appeared in the May-June issue. His next project is a book on soccer and faith.

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